Civic - Honda service or mechanic?

Hi,
I've just bought a 1997 Civic 1.5 LS. It has full Honda stamped service history up to 60,000 miles but 66,000 mile service was missed (optional
service anyway). It's now 70,000 miles and so due for the big 72,000 mile service, and my question is would it be ok to take it to my mechanic who doesn't specialise in Hondas (but is very experienced generally) or should I take it to a Honda garage (who will probably charge me at least double the price). I am on a very tight budget and would just like to know if I would be making a big mistake not taking it to a Honda garage? What is the benefit of taking it to a Honda garage and paying a lot more than may be necessary?
Thanks,
Scott
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You haven't actually checked the prices, have you.
Stop guessing, and call around. Honda's aren't rocket science.
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Thanks Steve for your patronising comments. Yes, in fact I have checked the prices. For the 72,000 mile service it's (UK)393. For a cambelt change a Honda dealer would charge 200 and from my mechanic it would be 90. My main reason for asking is because when I come to sell it on, would it be worth paying more just to have Honda service stamps (as it may be more highly regarded)? In the ads, they all make a big deal about "Honda stamped" service history.
Steve Bigelow wrote:

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I don't have a lot of use for dealers, except for warranty service and to buy parts from. I also don't patronize corner gas station mechanics or chains associated with big-box stores or any other outfit that's got some smiling greeter in a white shirt and bow-tie out front and union mechanics slaving away in the back.
What I look for is a privately owned, proprieter operated small shop that specializes in Hondas or at least Japanese cars. A clean, well equipped shop, preferably in an obscure location. Such places cannot depend on walk-in business and need word-of-mouth advertising from satisfied customers to survive. Their rates are usually much lower than a dealer, yet they are often more competent.
Check with the car clubs in your area. They often know who can be relied on.
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<schnippe>

How right you are, my friend. How right you are.
--
TeGGeR

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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John Ings wrote:

Excellent advice. I could not say it any better.
--

"This notion that the United States is getting ready
to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. Having said that,
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I can only tell you what I would do if I had a 2005 Honda. I would only go to the Honda dealership for service while the vehicle was under warranty. After the warranty runs out--find a local mechanic that you trust and go to him. If you can't find a mechanic that you trust, continue going to the Honda dealership for service.
--
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Scott,97 civics have extended emission warranty from the dealer.At 75,000 miles you get a free oil change,plugs,cap and rotor,wires.Then all check engine light related items are covered till 150,000.Call your dealer!Chad

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If you have a trusted mechanic, go to him. Good mechanics have contacts to get them through unfamiliar areas and know enough to send you to a specialist when they're over their heads.
Mike
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If by Honda garage you mean a Honda dealer, don't bother. You should take it to an independent garage that specializes in Hondas. You will save money and get service from someone who specializes in Hondas. ------------- Alex
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Alex, That's great advice for most people. However, millions of people live in small towns that do not have a mechanic that has an independent garage that specializes in Hondas. Don't you think that those people should get their service done at a Honda dealership? I should note that we have such a mechanic in my town. The only problem is that he is so busy that it takes him forever to get around to working on the various vehicles setting outside his shop. I can get my service work done at the local Honda dealership much quicker since they have 4 service advisors that set up appointment times for the customers. The independent mechanic does not handle it that way--he just says--"bring in your car and I'll work on it whenever I can find the time". Jason
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